SnapLogic iPaaS Adds Lifecycle Management, Security To Speed Deployment, Empower ‘Citizen Integrators’

SnapLogic’s latest update to its iPaaS (integration platform as a service) delivers tighter security and rigorous lifecycle management. The features are all designed to promote a higher level of worry-free self-service for a new breed of ‘citizen integrator.’ IDN speaks with SnapLogic’s Craig Stewart.

Tags: big data, citizen integrator, cloud integration, encryption, lifecycle management, iPaaS, SnapLogic,

Craig Stewart
senior director of
product management

"SnapLogic Winter 2015 adds mission-critical security and lifecycle management – to more quickly get from dev/test to production."

SnapLogic has released its latest update to its iPaaS (integration platform as a service), with new features that deliver tighter security and rigorous lifecycle management. The features in SnapLogic’s Winter 2015 release are all designed to promote a higher level of worry-free self-service for a new breed of ‘citizen integrator.’


“With our Winter 2015 release, we’re adding important mission-critical underpinning to the platform for security and lifecycle management – to more quickly and easily get from dev/test to production,” Craig Stewart, SnapLogic’s senior director of product management told IDN. “So, in real terms, this SnapLogic release adds guardrails that are needed to promote more self-service among ‘citizen integrators,’ while giving IT the assurance they need by offering more self-service so their systems won’t go down or be putting the company at risk.”


To strike this delicate balance between the needs of ‘citizen integrators’ and IT, SnapLogic Winter 2105 adds several key features.


SnapLogic’s Approach to iPaaS Lifecycle Management -- Pipeline Development Productivity

Chief among them is an end-to-end approach to a cloud integration lifecycle to deliver what Stewart calls “Pipeline Development Productivity” that fosters an easier, speedier and more reliable launch of hybrid projects – those app and data integrations that run across on-premises and cloud resources seen as important to the business.


Stewart described SnapLogic’s iPaaS-centric version of lifecycle management to IDN by using an app dev comparison. “When you look at projects for enterprise apps or mobile apps, there’s often a separation between the people who work on development and testing, and those who work on deployment. We’re finding the same with [hybrid] integration. So, we’re putting all the capabilities needed by both [groups] into a single environment to make it easier for them to work together. That results in being able to move more quickly between phases. . . all the way to launch.”


A SnapLogic document puts it this way.

The introduction of Phases allows data flow developers to create and test pipelines before moving them into production. Administrators can restrict who can access each Phase and whether or not they have execution permissions. Integration projects can be easily promoted or rolled back as pipelines move through the development to test to production lifecycle.
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Stewart described how SnapLogic Winter 2015 delivers on this iPaaS-centric Pipeline Development Productivity, “In the development environment, developers will build and make changes. When they get to a certain point where they’re ready to hand off, they can simply promote their project to the next phase. In the SnapLogic test environment, that team can run against different databases and servers, make updates or edits as needed and then re-tested. “Once the tests are successful, the project can then be promoted to ‘deployment’ status. This all happens in the same unified platform,” he added.


Other SnapLogic Winter 2015 upgrades worth noting.


Hybrid-Friendly Encryption, Security. SnapLogic’s enhanced encryption aims to allow companies to integrate on-premises apps and data with SaaS and cloud-based data services – without putting sensitive data or user credentials at risk outside the firewall. “We have customers who say, “We love SnapLogic, but we can’t allow account credentials to be in SnapLogic’s cloud. So, we built a new encryption model that puts encryption of the account credentials in the customer’s control.” SnapLogic implements a public / private key encryption model to provide enhanced account encryption. This lets users encrypt account credentials used to access endpoints without risk because credentials are encrypted using on-premises keys. “Nothing SnapLogic has access to can decrypt anything,” Stewart said.


Big Data Integration. SnapLogic’s Winter 2015 also added SnapReduce 2.0 and the Hadooplex as easy-to-implement add-on options. These both can greatly simplify the ability for SnapLogic to tap multiple data sources for Big Data projects. With the new option, a SnapReduce checkbox is added to a ‘Create Pipeline’ dialog box. The SnapLogic pipeline will automatically generate MapReduce jobs, which can scale across multiple nodes in a Hadoop cluster. When checked, only a subset of Snaps are available to the pipeline developer, including Data Format Snaps, Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) Read and Write Snaps, and Snaps that support parallelization of big data integration processing (aggregate filter, join, mapper, sort, union, unique).


Other Updates. The Winter 2015 release adds support for JSON Parser and Formatter Snaps for SnapReduce and run-time statistics of the MapReduce tasks are now available directly within the design environment.


Capturing Benefits, Reducing Risks from ‘Citizen Integrator’ Trend

“All SnapLogic Winter 2015 updates are also designed to be seamless, easy or virtually invisible to promote use by a growing trend of non-technical ‘citizen integrators,” Stewart explained. “Companies are finding that waiting for top-down change from just a few in IT doesn’t always work in today’s business. They are looking for something new and more agile, and we’re finding success with features like these that can support the ‘citizen integrator,’” he noted, adding that one SnapLogic customer has already reported some 100 such ‘citizen integrators’ working on projects.


One analyst firm sees signs the ‘citizen integrator’ trend is gaining steam among enterprises, and suggests others get on board.


A recent Gartner report notes that IT is looking for (or should be) more features to promote self-service for non-technical users. “Gartner believes. . . IT leaders should understand, embrace and even promote citizen integrators [and] put in place appropriate guardrails to limit risks and debts. . . . Ignoring or fighting citizen integrators will prove to be futile,” a recent Gartner report said. Even worse, if IT doesn’t implement solutions that can support ‘citizen integrators,’ they risk undermining IT’s relevance in the eyes of business leaders looking for more efficient and agile solutions.


SnapLogic Winter 2015’s latest updates are all designed to enable CIOs to “re-imagine integration” according to SnapLogic’s CEO Gaurav Dhillon. “[Today] CIOs look for greater business alignment and agility, as well as a faster payback on their cloud application and analytics investment. [W]ith a focus on security, performance and developer productivity, the Winter 2015 release enables our customers to further expand their iPaaS deployments,” he said in a statement.